A lot of people may think a trip to Hong Kong is expensive. However, with enough research and planning, you can get really great deals on hotels and flights. We managed to find a serviced apartment hotel at the same price as others hotels- this meant we could have breakfast at our apartment and a couple of nights we ate in, which all saved money! There are so many free attractions and places to visit in HK, that you don’t have to spend a lot whilst you’re there. Here are some tips on how to explore Hong Kong without spending lots of money..
Stroll and relax through a park
Amongst the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, there are so many public parks and gardens all around Hong Kong. In the midst of busy city life, these green spots are perfect for relaxing and unwinding or for exercising and practising Tai Chi. There are often koi ponds and birdhouses too. We visited the following parks-
- Hong Kong Park
- Kowloon Park
- Victoria Park
- Hollywood Road Park
Visit a temple
Most temples (if not all) in Hong Kong are open to the public. The more touristy ones ask for donations but are all free to enter and look around- respectfully of course. Most temples are Buddist but there are several Taoist temples too. We had the opportunity to visit
- Sik Sik Wong Tai Sin Temple (Taoist)
- Man Mo Temple (For the worship of the civil/ literature god Man Tai and the martial god Mo Tai
- Pin Lo Monastery (Buddhist)
- Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens (Buddhist)
- Fat Jong Temple (Buddhist)
Go to a museum
Again, as with most government-run museums, there are many free ones. We only managed a couple of museums, but all were so interesting! I’ve decided to include the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, as it was only 20HKD (£2) to get in, which is pretty much free and well worth going!
The HK Heritage museum was so diverse- it covered a really vast range of modern/contemporary art and film collections to traditional cultures such as Chinese Opera and Ancient Chinese pieces. The Museum of History covered Hong Kong’s history from the very beginning until now. There was so much to look at and learn and we both found it very interesting (especially as some of my family’s history was mentioned in the museum)!
Visit some art galleries
We had a big list of galleries we wanted to visit, however, all were closed during our stay! I have a big feeling that they are all run by the same body or association, but all were being installed with new exhibitions and collections and so were not open to the public. I’ve included a list of all the galleries which we wanted to visit for those interested!
Take a trail walk
Not a lot of people know, but there are a few large protected country parks in Hong Kong with amazing trail and hike routes. We managed to either all or parts of the following:
- Dragon’s Back, Shek O Peak Country Park
- Suicide Cliff, Lion Rock Country Park
- Sha Tin Pass, Lion Rock Country Park
Go to a beach
There are so many beautiful beaches in Hong Kong, scattered all around the different islands. Some look super tropical too and really not what people expect when they think of HK. We only managed one beach trip, which was to Big Wave Bay, which is known for its surfing. This bay/beach had lifeguards, a couple of cafes, a bbq area, clean shower and toilet areas. We went on a really hot day, yet it really wasn’t busy and still felt like we were hundreds of miles away from the city.. when in fact we were only about 4 or 5 miles away!
Find a free viewing point
We went to Central Plaza, which is a 374m skyscraper building and is the third tallest building in Hong Kong. Although the building is for offices, anyone can enter it and on the 46th floor, there is a viewing deck! The views from here are absolutely incredible!
Make the most of the late nights
There is so much going on, during the day and night. Neither Chris or I drink, yet we still found ourselves wondering around and outside until 10 or 11 pm on most nights! You don’t have to buy anything, but there are hundreds of shops which open super late, so it’s fun to window shop and there are the late night markets such as:
Each evening at 8 pm, there is the Symphony of Lights, which is a ten-minute multimedia light showcase at Victoria Harbour. You can either watch it from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui (this side is better to watch from) and from the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.
So as you can see, there is an abundance of free things to do. And, to be honest, the only things we really paid for (except food and transport) was The Peak Tram & Sky Terrace Entrance ($99 HKD/ £9pp), the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car to the Big Buddah on Lantau Island ($210 HKD/ £19pp) and entrance to the Disney Park ($619/ £56pp). Of course, travelling can be really expensive, but you don’t have to make it that way! Cut corners where you can, eat out less, walk where you can and of course, you can all these incredible things that don’t involve spending money!